The identities of transracially adopted adolescents in South Africa : a dialogical study.
Thomson, Robynne Leigh.
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Using the theory of the dialogical self, this study aimed to understand the identities of a sample of transracially adopted South African adolescents. Particular attention was paid to the identity domains of race and adoption, as well as the impact of relationships on the formation of individual identity. In-depth interviews were conducted with four transracially adopted adolescents and their parents. The voice centred relational method (Brown and Gilligan, 1992) was used as the method of analysis. Results of this research support many assumptions of the theory of the dialogical self and suggest that there is a dynamic relationship between internal and external positions within the self. In addition, the results show that the participants have developed racial and adoptive identities characterized by conflicting positions within the self, which may be mediated by relationships with significant others. Issues specific to the South African context, including language and poverty, also appear to bear significant influence on the identities of the participants.
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